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Thread: First attempt at muntjac Kleftiko.

  1. #1

    First attempt at muntjac Kleftiko.

    Hello everyone.

    Hereís my latest attempt at adapting traditional recipes to use muntjac and CWD. After using my Greek friends as Guinea pigs for the Blanquette díHydropote a líAncienne, I thought that I could try and recreate a Greek dish using muntjac, so here we have my first attempt at muntjac kleftiko. Kleftiko is a slow-cooked lamb dish. Essentially you marinade a leg or shoulder of lamb overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, fresh herbs and lemon zest. Then the next day you put it on a bed of potato chunks and wrap it all in a foil parcel, put the whole thing in a cast-iron or terracotta oven dish, cover it and put it in a low oven for a few hours. In this particular case, itís a 1.2kg muntjac haunch, and was cooked at 140 degrees C for three hours. Just at the end, open the parcel and whack up the heat for twenty minutes to brown everything. The result is meat so tender that I carved it with a spoon, and potatoes baked in all the juices, which are lovely.

    The results of this experiment are as follows. Technically, it works. The meat is moist, tender, falls off the bone as intended. The potatoes and juices do their thing as planned. However where it doesnít quite work is the flavour profile of muntjac compared to lamb. As muntjac has no sweetness to it, it canít stand up to bitter flavours. So the incorporation of lemon zest and rosemary didnít work well with the venison. Next time, Iíll just use the lemon juice, and I think it would benefit from a shedload more fresh thyme, maybe oregano too, and a more olive-oil heavy marinade.

    Now that said, we ate most of it, so it wasnít a failure, but neither is it a resounding success at this first attempt. If anyone else wants to try this out with a few modifications and let me know the outcome, that would be much appreciated. Otherwise Iíll come round to trying this again at some point.
    Attachment 39465

  2. #2
    I'm sure I've had this dish served wrapped in brown paper as I sat in some long-forgotten Greek taverna.

    Big improvement over your last offering as not a drop of cream in sight!

    Well done


  3. #3
    Probably done better than this one, too! I was thinking of dropping the development of this dish, but Mrs PM urged me not to, she sees, or rather tastes, great potential in it, so I shall have another attempt one of these days, allowing for the particularities of the venison compared to the lamb. It did taste better the next day, as is often the case with this sort of dish.

  4. #4
    you could try a handful of chopped dried apricots or the like in there? might add the sweetness your looking for?
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  5. #5
    I have thought of various things I could do that would improve this dish, but without deviating from its' essential Kleftikoness. I think that putting some form of fruit such as apricots in it would deviate too much from that. But perhaps pine nuts...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    I have thought of various things I could do that would improve this dish, but without deviating from its' essential Kleftikoness. I think that putting some form of fruit such as apricots in it would deviate too much from that. But perhaps pine nuts...
    perhaps a bit of honey added to the marinade?
    PS I'm enjoying the recipes keep it up
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
    "'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

  7. #7
    some finely chopped shalots or red onions ?
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  8. #8
    I've been thinking unpeeled garlic cloves actually. They turn very sweet, but without making the whole thing taste like a pudding. I don't like fruit with meat dishes, but that's just my own personal preference. Plenty of people obviously do!

  9. #9
    ooh yes , garlic ! maybe some elephant garlic as it's larger and a little milder?
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tackb View Post
    some finely chopped shalots or red onions ?
    I did think of that, and maybe a splash of white wine, but then it start drifting dangerously into Baeckeoffe territory, which is something I'll probably also try out at some point, but is just not sufficiently true to the spirit of the Kleftiko if you see what I mean. I think I need to explore variations on different fresh herbs, roasted garlic and quantity of olive oil.

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